August 20, 2020: We’ve been tracking severe weather that can cause damaging winds, flooding, and fires. Firefighters are battling more than two dozen major wildfires in California, and several tropical storms are forming in the Atlantic Ocean. Here are some things you can do to prepare if your church, school, or ministry buildings lie in the path of either threat.
Hundreds of wildfires have sprung up in the West, affecting a broad area that is struggling with extreme temperatures, dry winds, drought, and dry vegetation. Thousands of residents are being evacuated in California, where 23 of the 367 reported blazes are major wildfires. Meanwhile, Colorado is battling four major wildfires.
If you’re in an area experiencing dry heat or are under a no-fire order, preparing your ministry’s property in advance of a fire can minimize damage. DisasterSafety.org recommends creating a defensible space around your buildings. This includes removing dried or dead vegetation, trimming any tree branches that hang over your roof, and removing anything combustible within 5 feet of each building. Most importantly, determine the emergency evacuation route for your ministry, in case you need to leave quickly.
As a wildfire progresses, blazing embers that fly ahead of a wildfire’s flames pose the largest threat to buildings. Here are a few steps you can take to protect vulnerable areas of your property when a wildfire is approaching:
Out in the Atlantic, tropical storms continue to form weekly, threatening the Gulf and East coasts. We have already seen nine tropical storms and two hurricanes pop up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an extremely active hurricane season, with 19 to 25 named storms. Hurricane season runs June 1 to November 30.
If you're in an area that could be a hit by a tropical storm or hurricane, look into repairs and upgrades that could prevent or reduce damage to your church and school buildings. Some projects may require professional help. Here are a few ideas to help minimize damage from a hurricane:
Whatever disasters are common to your area, our online Safety Library can help you prepare—and recover. We’ve selected a few articles to get you started:
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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